Dream of a Lifetime

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dream Of A Lifetime
Compilation album by Marvin Gaye
Released May 21, 1985
Recorded 1984-85 (reworked)
Genre Funk, soul, dance-pop, synthpop, smooth soul
Length 36:13
Label Columbia
Producer Marvin Gaye (original versions), Gordon Banks, Harvey Fuqua
Marvin Gaye chronology
Midnight Love
(1982)
Dream Of A Lifetime
(1985)
Romantically Yours
(1985)

Dream of a Lifetime was the first posthumously released compilation of music by the American soul singer Marvin Gaye. It included the top five R&B single, "Sanctified Lady".

Background[edit]

In 1982, Marvin Gaye signed a three-album deal with Columbia Records after final negotiations to leave Motown Records were completed. During the recording of his Midnight Love album, Gaye and his frequent collaborator Gordon Banks worked on a series of recordings, several of which made it to Midnight Love; recording continued into 1983 after Gaye returned to Los Angeles even while Gaye was promoting his album. Following the end of Gaye's final grueling U.S. tour, Gaye remained secluded in the home he shared with his parents at the West Adams district of Los Angeles. Prior to his death, Gaye had planned to work on a duet with Barry White. White said on the day they were to record in the studio, Gaye was shot and killed. With two albums left from his Columbia contract, Columbia and Gaye's former label, Motown, began to work together to complete the singer's original contract to alleviate any debts left over by the singer after his death.

Recording[edit]

In the summer of 1984, Harvey Fuqua and Gordon Banks worked on finishing or "modernizing" several of Gaye's songs left over from both Columbia and Motown recording sessions. Of the Columbia material, Banks brought in several tracks he and Gaye worked on together between 1982 and 1983 including a song that Gaye had mentioned to interviewers titled, "Sanctified Pussy". Reworked, with vocals from several session background singers including The Waters, the song was renamed "Sanctified Lady". Gaye had warned that Columbia wouldn't release it due to the song's title and its lyrics. Another controversial song Gaye and Banks composed was "Masochistic Beauty", a song dedicated to S&M which Gaye played the role of a dominatrix in a faux British accent where he rapped throughout the track. Banks provided vocoder in both "Sanctified Pussy" and "Masochistic Beauty", giving both songs an electro-funk flavor.

Fuqua assembled leftover sessions from Gaye's Motown days, including an obscure track Gaye composed on the fly as a joke titled "Savage in the Sack", a song David Ritz later stated was a song Gaye wouldn't have wanted released. Originally, in the song, a vamp in the song had Gaye repeating the words, "dem niggers". In the remixed Fuqua production, it was rewritten as "it's getting bigger", with The Waters replacing Gaye on background vocals. The mid-tempo "Ain't It Funny How Things Turn Around", written and recorded around the time Gaye recorded Here, My Dear, was also remixed by Fuqua. The track later resurfaced in another remixed version, this time by Bootsy Collins in the deluxe edition re-issue of Here, My Dear. A 1971 track, "It's Madness", was also reworked with a modern drum programming beat over the original strings and music accompanying the song. A 1972 track, "Dream of a Lifetime", later became the title of the album, and was written as a demo for Sammy Davis, Jr., who didn't record it. The seven-minute "Life's Opera" was recorded in 1976 and was remixed again by Fuqua with the Waters again adding background vocals. "Symphony", a track recorded during the Let's Get It On sessions, was reworked with what sounded like beatboxing as its "drums". In the re-issue of Let's Get It On, the original recording was included.

Charts[edit]

Dream of a Lifetime found modest success after its release in May 1985. The leading single, "Sanctified Lady", reached #2 on the Hot R&B Singles chart, while "It's Madness" peaked at #55 on that chart. The album itself peaked at #8 on the R&B chart and #41 on the Billboard 200.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Rolling Stone (mixed) link

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Sanctified Lady" (Gordon Banks, Gaye) – 5:25
  2. "Savage in the Sack" (Gaye) – 3:20
  3. "Masochistic Beauty" (Banks, Gaye) – 4:39
  4. "It's Madness" (Gaye) – 3:21
  5. "Ain't It Funny (How Things Turn Around)" (Gaye) – 4:54
  6. "Symphony" (Gaye, Smokey Robinson) – 2:50
  7. "Life's Opera" (Gaye, Ivy Hunter) – 7:42
  8. "Dream of a Lifetime" (Gaye) – 3:49

Personnel[edit]

  • Larkin Arnold – liner notes
  • Gordon Banks – synthesizer, bass guitar, percussion, drums, background vocals, producer, engineer
  • William Bryant – percussion
  • Harvey Fuqua – synthesizer, bass guitar, percussion, drums, background vocals, producer
  • Marvin Gaye – synthesizer, drums, keyboards, lead vocals, background vocals, producer (original versions)
  • Connie Howard & The Waters – background vocals
  • John Kovarek – engineer
  • Barney Perkins – engineer
  • Preston Wilcox – drums